Stainless Steel in Thermal Desalination and Brine Treatment: Current Status and Prospects

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Stainless Steel in Thermal Desalination and Brine Treatment: Current Status and Prospects Argyris Panagopoulos1   · Maria Loizidou1 · Katherine‑Joanne Haralambous1 Received: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 © The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials 2019

Abstract Desalination is considered one of the most viable and technically feasible strategies for the production of freshwater from saline solutions (brackish water, seawater and brine). Thousands of membrane and thermal desalination plants operate daily in many countries around the world, with thermal desalination plants being more advantageous especially in areas with cheap energy. Stainless steel is a reliable material choice for thermal desalination plants due to excellent properties such as stability and minimum maintenance requirements. However, corrosion can cause catastrophic failures in stainless steel due to high temperatures and corrosive environments. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of stainless steel grades (austenitic, super austenitic, duplex, super duplex and hyper duplex) that have been and can be used in thermal desalination and brine treatment applications and discuss their opportunities and challenges. In terms of mechanical properties and corrosion resistance, the grades of stainless steel are compared. Thus, for each grade, an application area is suggested to minimize the possibility of material failure. Furthermore, this review discusses recent trends in stainless steel corrosion control and anti-corrosion materials and methods. Keywords  Stainless steel · Desalination · Brine · Super duplex · Hyper duplex · Austenitic Abbreviations CCT​ Critical crevice temperature CPT Critical pitting temperature HAZ Heat-affected zone MED Multi-effect distillation MSF Multi-stage flash distillation MVC Mechanical vapor compression NF Nanofiltration PREN Pitting resistance equivalent number RO Reverse osmosis TDS Total dissolved solids TVC Thermal vapor compression VC Vapor compression * Argyris Panagopoulos [email protected] Maria Loizidou [email protected] Katherine‑Joanne Haralambous [email protected] 1

Unit of Environmental Science and Technology, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou St., Zografou, 15780 Athens, Greece

1 Introduction Considering global population growth as well as improved living standards, the freshwater scarcity may be one of the biggest issues facing humanity in the twenty-first century [1]. Due to the vast amount of salt water in the sea, desalination is thought to be a cost-effective solution to solve this global issue. Desalination is the process of freshwater production by removing dissolved salts from saline solutions, mainly from brackish water and seawater. There are currently an estimated 18,000 desalination plants in 177 countries around the world with a total desalination capacity of approximately 86.55 million m3/day [2, 3]. Desalination plants are generally classified as thermaland membrane-based plants.